Responsive justice system promotes fairness

Published: Thu 17 Nov 2011 04:41 PM
Justice Spokesperson
17 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Responsive justice system promotes fairness
Releasing Labour’s Justice Policy today, Charles Chauvel said it was designed to deliver all New Zealanders a fairer justice system.
“New Zealanders want, and deserve, to live in safe communities. Our justice system should enhance public safety, protect liberty and encourage participation and accountability. It should also be open, fair, swift and accessible.
“Access to justice in this country is being eroded through ill thought-out half measures, an antiquated and disjointed approach to service delivery and a failure to recognise where the needs of New Zealanders are not being met by the system and to then address those needs.
“Ensuring the delivery of a rational and uniform justice through a system that is based on modern, robust and workable statutory provisions is a fundamental responsibility of any government.
“Updating and implementing the work undertaken by the Law Commission in its 2004 report, Delivering Justice for All: A Vision for New Zealand Courts and Tribunals, will be among several reforms carried out by Labour.
Others include placing a moratorium on the implementation of changes National made to legal aid; enhancing the transparency and independence of the operation of courts, and implementing evidence-based interventions, such as neighbourhood justice centres and restorative justice, where community support exists for such interventions,” Charles Chauvel said.
Labour would also initiate a review of the Standing Orders of the House of representatives to promote increased public input into the legislative process, restrict the use of urgency and end the practice of Ministers sitting on, or chairing, committees.
We will also protect liberty by entrenching the Constitution Act and the Bill of Rights Act.
“Tying in with our other proposals, that put children at the centre of policy, we will also modernise the law relating to the care of children to ensure the widest possible pool of suitable adults is lawfully available to provide care for children in need.
“The proposed changes will be based on evidence, they will address the causes of injustice rather than just the symptoms, and they will be enacted openly and only after consultation,” Charles Chauvel said. “Those pledges stand in stark contrast to National’s record in this area.”

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